The Wolf Administration Wednesday announced the expansion of Acting Secretary of Health and Pennsylvania Physician General Dr. Denise Johnson’s naloxone standing order to combat the rise of overdoses in Pennsylvania.
The standing order now includes ZIMHI, a 5 milligram (mg) intra-muscular injection device that comes as a single-dose pre-filled syringe or a carton containing two cases of the pre-filled syringes. Residents can present a copy of the standing order at their local pharmacy to obtain life-saving naloxone.
“Naloxone saves lives,” Dr. Johnson said. “Naloxone is an essential tool in the commonwealth’s approach to address the overdose crisis. We continue to ensure residents have access to this life-saving tool along with resources to learn how to administer it nasally and through intra-muscular injection.”
Naloxone is a medication approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) to rapidly reverse an opioid overdose by quickly restoring breathing to a person if their breathing has slowed or stopped because of an opioid overdose. Naloxone can be administered by individuals with or without medical training to help reduce opioid overdose deaths. The Department of Health has resources available to educate people to use the naloxone products available to save lives.
“You never know when you may come across an individual experiencing an overdose. There are numerous ways that Pennsylvanians can access life-saving naloxone and we encourage everyone to take advantage of those resources,” said Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs Secretary Jen Smith. “With the addition of this new product in the standing order we’re giving Pennsylvanians an additional tool in the toolbox for combating the increase in fentanyl across the commonwealth.”
Since 2014, previous Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine and current Acting Secretary of Health and Physician General Dr. Denise Johnson signed standing orders allowing the general public and first responders to obtain naloxone from their local pharmacy. The medication is also available free for personal use through a statewide mail-based naloxone program in partnership with Prevention Point Pittsburgh and NEXT Distro.
The Department of Health recently revised Pennsylvania’s naloxone training video and resources available through Train PA to include updated overdose death statistics and information on administering naloxone. To watch the training or see the available resources, you must create an account through Train PA.
Learn more about the Wolf Administration’s efforts in combating the overdose crisis pa.gov/opioids.